Bow ties are cool. This simple fact led Anita Perkušić, former President of AEGEE-Zagreb, to a great idea: she created her own bow ties – and made a business out of it. „Everyone in AEGEE-Zagreb and also outside our antenna is crazy about them and loves to wear them“, says Silvija Perić, advisory board member and also former president of AEGEE-Zagreb. When the new board made a group photo, everyone of them wore a bow tie made by Anita Perkušić. „We hope that our bow ties Mashna will become recognized as a brand“, Silvija adds. „Many AEGEE members already have them, like Marko Grdosić, Luis Alvarado Martinez and Anna Gots – and since they are really fashionable, everyone who wants to be noticed and show their style, wants to wear them!“ The Golden Times spoke with Anita Perkušić about her creations.

Anita Perkusic2
Anita Perkušić, former President of AEGEE-Zagreb

Golden Times: How did you get the idea to make bow ties?
Anita Perkušić: The idea was born two years ago, after an unsuccessful search for a Christmas present. I was trying to find a bow tie for a friend – something different and special as the person for whom I was buying it. After a long search, which left me disappointed because nothing fitted the picture I had in my head, I came up with an idea of making one. I discussed the idea with my mum who played the key role and we made our first bow tie. Our bow ties, which are known as “Mashna”, it means a bow in Croatian, experienced few improvements and changes since then.

Golden Times: Do you make them professionally or just for friends?
Anita: At first, I didn’t have an intention to sell them. We were making them mostly for friends, with few exceptions.  Few weeks ago I talked with my friends about the product and as they were really enthusiastic and after I saw I still can’t find anything similar, I decided to try and offer “Mashna” to other people.

Bowties5Golden Times: I heard that you sold them successfully at Agora Enschede in spring 2012. How did people react?
Anita: Agora Enschede was the first occasion where I’ve shown them to a broader group of people. I brought few pieces with no intention of selling them and after showing them to some AEGEEans, they were really interested in buying, so I sold a few.  All reactions were positive and this made me continue with the production.

Golden Times: Are you still selling them? How much do they cost?
Anita: We have just started with the promotion through our Facebook page. The page exists for a while, but it was inactive until a few weeks ago. I found great help in my mum and my friends, especially in my dear friend Silvija, who is a great PR person for “Mashna”.

Anita and friends
Anita and friends

Golden Times: What are they made of?
Anita: They are all knitted and that makes them different from other bow ties which you can find in high street fashion stores. They are all made of cotton and come in various colors.

Golden Times: Is it difficult to make them?
Anita: The whole process takes a couple of hours and this makes them a little bit more expensive than those offered by mass product companies. But they are hand made with love and they come with a fancy bag. The process can be divided in two parts – the first one is knitting all parts and the second part when all parts together are sewed together.

Golden Times: Do you also made AEGEE logos on them?
Anita: By now, I haven’ t made any with AEGEE logo, because knitting a logo takes more time than making the whole bow tie and there wasn’t enough interest in that. But that doesn’t mean we won’t make them, especially if the interest rises. We will do it with joy.

Bowties2Golden Times: What do you think about the fact that the new board made pictures with them?
Anita: There is an expression we use when we describe bow ties: “In order to be irreplaceable one always has to be different.” The same expression can be used for the people creating a newly elected board of AEGEE- Zagreb. Maybe that is the reason why our bow ties fit them so well…

Golden Times: Anything else you’d like to add?
Anita: I would like to thank you for showing interest in our work and invite all people who have more questions to contact us through our Facebook page: